The trick is to carry on

by exemigrantka

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The back of the cardi is now finished and so is the left front section (which in the picture above, taken yesterday, wasn’t quite finished yet). The work actually goes quite quickly (and, frankly, the word “quick” is totally relative here!). I finished weaving in the back section of the cardi on Tuesday and cast-on for the front on Wednesday. The front was finished yesterday and I just finished weaving in the ends earlier this morning.

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It’s not hard to see what “scares” so many knitters away from colourwork. It really takes finishing up to a whole new level. There are a few tips, however, which I am going to share here because they help to take the edge off working and finishing colourwork pieces:

  • If you are comfortable with both (Continental & English) knitting techniques, I highly recommend working colourwork using English technique. It produces much more even stitches and is worth the extra trouble, even if the price I personally pay for it is being significantly slowed down, as I am a natural born Continental knitter.
  • As you are working your pattern anchor the travelling threads at the back by crisscrossing them with the working yarn. This really helps to manage the multitude of threads at the back of work, which otherwise can easily get overwhelming. It also helps to tension the threads correctly, which in turn allows to produce much more even stitches. This process will produce a very characteristic wrinkling of the knitted fabric. It is particularly visible before blocking. It’s a little bit like with lace blocking in that, once blocked, it will smooth out beautifully.

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  • Weave in as you go; i.e. I have done weaving in on the back before casting on for the left front, e.c.t. This breaks up the arduous task into smaller, more manageable pieces and makes for a much more varied making process.
  • When you turn work, anchor the colour thread on a stitch of main colour, so that when you work the pattern in the opposite (to the row before/below) direction, it is easier to tension the edge stitches of the pattern.

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  • Stitches anchored on the selvedge look like this from the right side of work:

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  • Add a garter stitch selvedge to your project. It will come in handy for weaving in the loose threads and it will let you avoid weaving into the actual fabric of the project, where it would be much more noticeable. Having selvedge also will insure that you won’t lose any fabric because of having to sew the edges into the seams, thus affecting your sizing. The last thing you want is to spend hours on end on a project like this only to discover that the finished garment is too small!

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Before weaving in…

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…and after. I cut the remaining threads to roughly 3cm.

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I am rather pleased with the shoulder shaping on the back although, in terms of weaving in, these tiny bits of colour are a nightmare to secure, as there is no fabric available to weave in discreetly. It literally takes tying tiny knots!!!

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As you can see I did not cast-off the stitches of the shoulder curve, as recommended in the pattern. I’ve decided to seam the shoulders using 3-needle bind-off. I think it will be nice to have a feature seam in this prominent place, as otherwise it will be a clash of “shaped away” flowers. Just my personal preference…

All for now. Later today I am planning to cast-on for the right front.

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